A beautiful place

editorial image

A WEEK last Friday, my fiancée and I were watching Gardeners World. It was amazing to see Newby Hall estate and gardens featured on the programme.

The double perennial borders looked wonderful and Jo Swift interviewed the head gardener who, to my amazement, said they were going to dig the borders up and replace a lot of plants this year.

It was a nice coincidence because we were going to Newby Hall on the Saturday, so watching the garden on the show only wetted our appetite to see this beautiful garden.

Newby Hall was even better than I expected and the double borders had beautiful flowers which were covered in bees and hoverflies.

The perennials were Nepeta six hills giant which were still looking good. A plant we have at Sewerby which, to be honest doesn’t look as good as it does at Newby Hall is Achillea Gold Plate, which was stunning – a mass of bright yellow flowers.

They had it well supported because if not it would just collapse.

There were some lovely salvia’s which had lovely lipped flowers. I even bought a red one called Hot Lips which was so eye-catching.

The borders also had Dahlias in them to add colour right up until November, I could write a whole article on the borders and the plants in them.

I just hope they don’t change the borders too much. It’s nice to freshen up borders now and again with different plants, but you have to be totally certain you are doing it for the good of the public who will be looking at the borders for many years to come – and the repetition the double borders have at Newby Hall will take some improving on.

The aromatic leaves of Perovskia Blue Spire (Russian sage) smell lovely. They are a mass of tiny lavender-like flowers and are so attractive this time of the year. There was plenty planted around the garden.

It’s worth a visit and there’s plenty of activities for the younger kids – a railway, boats, play parks and then a fantastic cafe with lovely food.

Not the cheapest place to get in, but if you love gardens and have young kids and you want a fun and garden experience Newby Hall is the place to go.

Jobs to do this week:

l Save seed from rockery plants, trees, shrubs and perennials which have gone to seed.

l Divide bearded irises.

l Feed Camellias and Rhododendrons and make sure you water well.

l Cut Strawberry runners from the parent plant.

l Keep an eye out for powdery mildew which is brought on by plants drying out, then usually made worse by people watering the leaves and spreading the disease. The symptoms are leaves look like they have talcum powder on them.

You can either take susceptible leaves off the plant or cut the plant right back to ground level and hope that does the trick.

Spraying a fungicide should be the last resort. Improve the conditions that are causing the stress do not let the plant completely dry out a good mulch will improve the soil and retain the moisture in the soil.

l Feed your bedding plants and keep regular dead heading.

l Do not let vegetables like lettuce and spinach dry out they will go to seed really quickly if you do.

l Garden centres and nurseries will have reduced bedding plants to buy, so it’s an ideal time to go to fill up your borders in your garden.